Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3‏

1 Peter 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well Friends, another blessed day by the name of Thursday has been added to our life card!

 
And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Thank You heavenly Father for causing us to see another wonderful day on Your planet earth. We know that You are on Your throne, still in control of everything, which means we have nothing to fear, once we walk in obedience to Your will.
 
Please lead and guide us safely and sensibly through this day, so that we may live lives worthy of you, and cause others to come to you for salvation. We pray this in the name of Your Son and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.’
 
Ah my people, what a blessing it is to wake up to a new day, knowing that the world is our oyster, and with Almighty God in control, anything at all is possible! Wow!
 
But most important of all is His ever-faithful promise, the assurance that He will work everything out for our good, regardless of what happens today. As believing Christians, what more can we ask for eh? Nothing really nuh!
 
And to add further encouragement to our faith and our day, listen to this poem from our dear departed Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. It’s simply titled ‘MY WALK.’
 
Please recite with me: ‘O God, I’m inspired. For you have just impressed the truth into my mind: The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, what inspiring words and sentiments! Gramps Schuller has gone home to the many mansions in the sky, but his words of truth and inspiration still linger on with us and help to guide us along the straight and narrow path. And he is right yuh know. There is no more powerful force on this earth than a God-given idea to a believer who is intent on walking in God’s will.
 
So today, please let’s concentrate on doing just that nuh; listening to God’s voice and walking in His will, like the obedient children we’re supposed to be. Let’s let go of all the nonsense that the world is pushing at us, and concentrate on the things of God, as Jesus wisely advised in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)
 
Yeh Friends, if we simply seek the things of God, all the worldly things we need will be granted to us. That’s God’s promise, and we know He never breaks promises. So why are we so reluctant to seek Him and His way eh? I really can’t answer for anybody else.
 
But be sure that the time will come when we will each have to answer individually for our earthly behaviour. So there is no sense trying to brow beat or force anybody into obedience, we all have the option to make our own decisions. Just remember that there are consequences to whatever decisions we make.
 
Enough preaching now, (smile) let’s get to our Bit, a most wonderful expose on God’s goodness to mankind. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’
 
Oh my brethren, as we said yesterday, without Christ’s resurrection, there could have been no new creation, no eternal life, and for that we should be everlastingly grateful!
 
We also saw that there is an inheritance laid aside for us in heaven that cannot be destroyed or corrupted and doesn’t fade away. And we are kept by God’s power, through our faith that believes in salvation, which will be revealed in the last days. (1 Pet.1:4-5)
 
And Peter continues: ‘Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations. That the trial (the genuineness) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearance (revelation) of Jesus Christ:
 
Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet.1:6:9)
 
Yeh mih people, that’s the beauty, the magnitude and strength of our faith! We’ve never seen Jesus, yet we believe in Him and LOVE Him everlasting! We also find unspeakable joy in living for Him, and sincerely and confidently trust Him to provide our salvation in the end times!
 
So much so, that even when we go through trials and tribulations here on earth, we consider them tests of our faith. And though they may be extremely tough and fiery, we pass through them with assurance, giving thanks and glory to God, eagerly and patiently waiting for Jesus’ Second Coming.
 
Yeh Friends, it’s not an easy life living faithfully for Jesus, but I can assure you that it’s a very rewarding one, if you stand strong and steadfast in faith.
 
Now here is some info from the scholars on those verses. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’
 
Ah Friends, in closing, I’d like us to pay particular attention to that last sentence of the scholars because it is the absolute truth. If our faith is true, it will be strong, and thus not able to be destroyed, even though God is testing us with fiery trials and temptations.
 
So please, let’s hang in there in faith, knowing that all the promises made by Almighty God, our Creator and Provider, will, in His time, be revealed and become reality – not the virtual type that we’re so take up with nowadays, but the real reality that only comes from and through Him. Much LOVE!
 
…Once we mature in faith with Jesus…It is virtuallyunbreakable…even though tried by fire… 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2013 Acts 9:16

Acts 9:16.    For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, it’s time to get ready to go out and labour! And I don’t want to hear any nonsense about yuh tired or blue, or any such selfish, petty excuse. If you’re a true Christian, a true believer in Jesus Christ, then you have the necessary parts to conquer whatever is holding you back.
 
So let’s be humble and cast our cares on Jesus, as He’s repeatedly told us to do, and ask for our daily bread, our share of divine grace to handle today. And like the Lord gave the Israelites manna, food sufficient for each day, for forty years in the wilderness, He’ll do the same for us if we come before Him and ask with a humble heart and sincere reverence. 
 
So without further ado, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn as though we really mean it, because I want to finish this Bit on Bruh Paul today, and there’s still a lot to talk about.
 
With one, loud, harmonious voice then, let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour.
 
We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
That was excellent singing Friends! Now let’s go out into this godless world and put it all into practice, like Bruh Paul did. And as we do, let’s remember to thank the Lord that we don’t have to bear the extremely hard knocks that Bruh Paul bore in spreading the good news of Christ. For the Lord certainly lived up to His promise to Ananias in our Bit. ‘For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.’
 
Now living for Christ means facing some adversity, but whatever they are, let’s hope we face them with the faith, trust and confidence that Bruh Paul did. Listen as we continue with his feelings and sentiments to the trials he experienced. This passage comes from 2 Corinthians. It’s one many of us know and use conveniently. Here, Bruh Paul is talking about living by faith.
 
‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.’ (2 Cor.4:7-11)
 
Ah mih people, that level of growth and maturity in Jesus that Bruh Paul exhibits there is not easy to obtain. But it is possible in conjunction with Christ, and as a believer, it’s expected that we’ll all seriously try to reach those glorious heights. And here’s some useful info from the scholars on verse 7 above.
 
‘Earthen vessels: In the wilderness under the old covenant, God’s presence dwelt in a tent, (the ark). Today He dwells in the believer’s heart. This is unspeakable truth and forms a theological basis for holy living (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19-20) But the stress here is on ‘earthen.’ An earthenware jar is brittle. It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect (humanity in its strength). Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’
 
Now let’s turn to Philippians, where Bruh Paul tells them: ‘But I would ye should understand (want you to know), brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen (turned) out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. So that my bonds in Christ (chains are for Christ) are manifest (well known) in all the palace (by all the palace guard), and in all other places. And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil.1:12-14)
 
Yes Friends, lots of people in and around the palace knew of Bruh Paul’s imprisonment for Christ’s sake and thus heard about the gospel, which pleased him immensely.  And it even made some of the other believers confident enough to publicly promote the gospel. So in Bruh Paul’s mind, instead of it being a disappointment, his imprisonment actually spread the gospel more than if he’d been free.
 
Then at the end of that chapter, in exhorting them to steadfastness, he tells them: ‘For unto you it (salvation) is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.’ (Phil. 1:29-30)  
 
Oh Friends, that means that salvation from God came to us and the Philippians because of Jesus’ suffering, so that if we want it, we’ll have to suffer some, like Jesus to get it. As well, some of the Philippians were then facing persecution like they saw Bruh Paul do some ten years before in Philippi, when he was beaten and imprisoned, and was again undergoing in the Roman prison, from which he wrote. 
 
And we’ll end this series of messages on Bruh Paul with these fateful words to the Ephesian elders whom he called to Miletus to meet with him. ‘And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save (except) that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds (chains) and afflictions abide (await) me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.’ (Acts 20:22-24)
 
Oh Friends, in closing, my fervent wish and sincere prayer is that all believers will eventually come to a truly high standard of belief and faith in Christ Jesus, like Bruh Paul, and spread the Word as selflessly and unafraid as he did. Then and only then will God’s glorious kingdom be truly furthered with the zeal and passion that’s absent from our current lacklustre endeavours. Much LOVE!
 
…to move this wicked, ungodly world towards Christ…believers need to have…enormous amounts of faith, fortitude, belly and backbone…